Regular Saunas Can Prevent Cold Symptoms, Study Says

Although how exactly that happens has yet to be determined

By on February 20th, 2009 19:41 GMT

Drinking plenty of liquid is always the best option to fight a cold or reduce its symptoms, that much has been known for years. Liquids help detoxify the body and make it stronger to fight the virus – which is why a sauna acts almost in the same way, an Australian research has found. Not only do saunas relieve cold symptoms, but they can also reduce the recurrence of the common cold and the flu.

Australian researches have come up with the idea for the study after noting that the cold is the one infection that causes the biggest gap in terms of productivity. Given the current economical context, they wanted to test the theory that regular saunas could reduce the occurrence of colds – and they came up with the simple answer that yes, it could, although how exactly that happens is yet to be determined.

“As no effective prophylaxis is available, this trial was to test the hypothesis that sauna bathing can reduce the incidence of common colds.” the researchers say on NCBI PubMed. Volunteers were divided into two equal groups, with one abstaining from saunas altogether, while the other was told to indulge. After six months of tracking, researchers noted that members of the latter group had half less colds over the given period.

“There were significantly fewer episodes of common cold in the sauna group. This was found particularly during the last three months of the study period when the incidence was roughly halved compared to controls. The mean duration and average severity of common colds did not differ significantly between the groups. It is concluded that regular sauna bathing probably reduces the incidence of common colds, but further studies are needed to prove this.” researchers point out in the aforementioned publication.

As of now, it is believed that saunas act on the body in the way a fever does, which is why it is extremely beneficial when the virus settles in. Nevertheless, as noted above, further research is in order to establish this.

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